Benin: When learning Chinese language comes into vogue

[Source]     [Time]    2015-06-05 16:35:02 

Recently, the finals of the Chinese Language Competition of the “4th Cup of China Cultural Center of Benin”, the “14th Chinese Bridge”, and “My China Dream” sponsored by Cultural Office of Chinese Embassy in Benin, and supported by the China Cultural Center of Benin and the Confucius Institute at University of Abomey-Calavi in Benin was launched in the China Cultural Center of Benin. More than 80 Chinese language enthusiasts watched the competition and attended the Award Ceremony.

Before the competition, the sponsor made careful preparations. Competitors received Brochure for Competitors beforehand, which included competition notifications, basic vocabulary, basic dialogues, the most common Chinese phrases, cultural knowledge and general knowledge about China. They also attended several training courses given by professional Chinese language teachers before the competition. It is truly hoped that the popular form of competition can motivate competitors to master basic knowledge about Chinese language and know more about Chinese culture.

On April 11, the preliminary competition was held in the China Cultural Center of Benin, and over 70 Chinese language enthusiasts participated in it. The competition was planned to start at 10 in the morning, but just before 9, competitors who came to register crowded the ground floor of the main building. The sponsor introduced that the Chinese language proficiency of this year’s competitors is significantly higher than that of the previous years. After fierce competition in the preliminary, 12 competitors won out and were chosen to play in the finals.

In the finals, the 12 competitors all seemed confident and determined to win after experiencing the preliminary and intensive preparation. Those finalists were divided into Group A and Group B. After the heated competitions including compulsory questions, Chinese character dictation, self-introduction, talent show and Q&A by lot drawing, two winners of the First Prize, two of the Second Prize, two of the Third Prize and six of the Prize of Honor were selected in the two groups respectively. Some of the prize winners would gain the opportunity of attending the scholarship touring program organized by China’s Ministry of Culture or attending the semi-final of Chinese Bridge Competition held in Hunan province, as well as other visiting activities on behalf of Benin. These winners would represent all the competitors in Benin to show their excellence. Because the prizes that awarded them with opportunities of visiting China were the most welcomed, the contest for them was also the most intense of all. The competition not only assessed their basic knowledge, but also the flexibility and responsiveness, which made the event all the more dramatic.

After the finals, Bai Guangming, Director of the China Cultural Center of Benin and Julien(Yu Lian) and Liu Anping, Foreign and Chinese Directors of Confucius Institute at University of Abomey-Calavi awarded the prizes to the winners together. Many competitors promised to attend the Chinese Language Competition of the “Cup of China Cultural Center of Benin” and the “Chinese Bridge” again next year.

In recent years, there are more and more Chinese language enthusiasts in Benin. The 4th Competition for the scholarship touring program, i.e., “the Cup of China Cultural Center of Benin” was also the 14th Chinese Bridge Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign Students, and this competition has been successfully held for many times in the China Cultural Center of Benin, delivering a lot of excellent talents in Chinese language for China. Every year, this dual competition attracts a great many Chinese language enthusiasts.

Thanks to constant improvement and promotion of Chinese language teaching in local schools, Chinese language draws widespread attention in Benin. The China Cultural Center of Benin and Confucius Institute has done a lot of work in order to encourage more people in Benin to learn Chinese language and know about Chinese language and Chinese culture. According to Director Bai Guangming, in an attempt to give full play to Benin students’ talent in singing and dancingthe China Cultural Center of Benin integrates Chinese language teaching with culture promotion by holding colorful activities like Chinese singing and dancing club. It is sincerely hoped that students of Confucius Institute would be able to enhance their Chinese language and their understanding of Chinese culture through learning Chinese songs and Chinese dances.

By Lei Tongling, China Culture Daily special correspondent in Benin



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